Ground penetrating Radar Project – “Penetrating the Past”

 The findings of the GPR were presented to us on 14th March when Dr Steding presented her findings. A summary of her findings are listed below. For the full report log into the Members area here, then click on Miscellaneous Information

DISCUSSION.  (From Dr Louise Steding’s report)

Do appear to be likely remnants of the female factory in Charlotte Street and at its intersection with William Street. Remnants of a possible feature also extend along the frontage of former Police buildings in William Street. No convincing regular patterning appears in front of No.15 William Street. Further interpretation may be made from the GPR plans provided in which depths and associations are indicated. Deeper feature in Charlotte Street and possible feature along William Street have three possibilities: 1. Either may be a service trench not shown on Council plans provided. 2. They radargrams may represent physical remains from the early 19th Century: In Charlotte Street the feature (shown as ‘A’ in Figure 4.2) may be the rear wall of Female factory, as shown in the 1831, 1832, 1844 and 1846 Town Plans. In William Street the feature shown as ‘B’ in Figure 4.1), may be a wall associated with adjacent structures at this location; 3. In either case, service trenches might run alongside surviving features. At the first house site, a patch of anomalies is located where cracks have appeared in the surface concrete. Concrete does tend to crack were subsurface compaction varies. In this instance, it may be from the presence of demolition rubble. The potential presence of any portion of these early buildings and their subsequent phases of occupation from 1815 to 1844 will be highly significant as an early part of Bathurst and Australia’s convict past. The survival of physical remains would add a dynamic dimension to the town’s rich heritage, in this instance, specifically at William and Charlotte Streets. This raises the question of whether to conserve, expose, or excavate. Excavation is inherently destructive. The removal of surviving features will be permanent. Conservation would leave the past buried and questions unanswered. Alternatively, exposure of certain high potential areas, as identified by GPR, presents possibilities for community interaction.